What will it be?

What will it be?

Just as the swallows return to Capistrano each year, the diabetes world congregates once a year during the summer at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions. This year’s gathering will be the 72nd such event and will be held in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia.  If this event follows past gatherings a theme typically emerges that can sum up what the conference was all about. Although Diabetic Investor considers the ADA event more drug and research oriented there is always a fair amount of device news.

Looking ahead Diabetic Investor sees several interesting story lines developing for this year’s event here are just a few;

Who will buy Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) and how much will they pay? According to a story in The Telegraph AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) is the latest company to make a play for the company offering $4 billion. Another story in Bloomberg BusinessWeek states; “AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) joined Sanofi (SAN), Merck & Co. and Bristol- Myers Squibb Co. in making first-round proposals, said the people, who declined to be identified as talks are private. Pfizer Inc. (PFE) (PFE), which made a bid on the lower end of the range, is dropping out of the process, said one of the people. “

Who will buy Bayer’s diabetes device unit? Just as it seems everyone is interested in making a run at Amylin so too it seems that an equal numbers of suitors want to make a play for Bayer’s diabetes device unit. Diabetic Investor suspects it won’t be that much longer until we find just how wacky the diabetes device world has become. With this deal it’s not just who the buyer will be but how much is a struggling glucose monitoring company is worth.

Will this be Lilly’s (NYSE:LLY) swan song or is this low point before the reemergence? Lilly keeps telling everyone that diabetes is important and that their pipeline is full of truly exciting and innovative drugs that will reinvigorate this struggling legacy franchise. The real questions are; is anyone listening and does anyone care?

Will this finally be the year we see a breakthrough in interconnected diabetes management systems or will it more of the same, all hype and possibility rather than real results.

Is it possible with all the money be thrown at developing  an artificial pancreas that something really good will come from this project or will it be another case of over promise under deliver?

No matter what the buzz or lack thereof is this year one thing is certain the diabetes world is about to undergo a transformation, a changing of the guard if you will. Old stalwarts like Lilly will see their stature diminish while players like Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) and Sanofi battle for supremacy in the diabetes space; a fight that would become more interesting should Merck emerge as the winning bidder for Amylin.  The stark reality is the diabetes market with its epidemic growth rate is THE place to be and everyone and we mean everyone wants a piece of this growing pie.

Just as the diabetes drug world is about to be turned upside down so too is the diabetes device world. Years ago it would have been unthinkable that Bayer, a company that practically invented the glucose monitoring market would be willing to surrender and sell out. That companies like GE (NYSE:GE), Panasonic and Philips would want to be players in this already over-crowded commodity market.

Diabetic Investor for what it’s worth sees all this change as good for the diabetes market overall and that while the newbies will make their fair share of mistakes, they will also bring with them new ideas that frankly are desperately needed. As much as the current crop of companies doesn’t want to admit it they haven’t exactly done a great job. The fact remains that nearly two-thirds of all patients are not properly controlling their diabetes and this is not just a healthcare problem but an economic one. Granted these dismal results cannot be completely blamed on the companies in the market however one cannot ignore the impact they have had here.

Let’s hope for all concerned that this conference marks the beginning of new era in diabetes, an era where the patient comes first.